Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Tablets To Give Techies

Tablets For Techies

The holidays are rapidly approaching, and tablets are at the top of many people's wish lists.

Between Microsoft's performance-packed Surface Pro 4 and Samsung's consumer-friendly Galaxy Tab S2, tablets been more appealing to all areas of the market.

Vendors have been working to integrate new features into their products, such as the 2-in-1 tablet form factor as opposed to the more traditional slate tablet, cheaper price tags and bigger screen sizes. Other features, such as Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system and Intel's new sixth-generation processors, are bolstering tablets' performance.

CRN compiled a list of 10 tablets that stuck out as perfect holiday gifts for a techie family member or friend.

Apple iPad Mini 4

Apple fans cheered when the company quietly revealed its newest upgrade to the iPad mini line -- the iPad Mini 4, which starts at $399 for the 16GB version.

With a 7.9-inch display, the iPad mini 4 adopts the slim, aesthetic sleekness of Apple's iPad Air 2, and the Cupertino, Calif.-based company boasts that this device is 18 percent thinner than its predecessor, at 6.1mm.

The iPad mini 4 excels in performance and battery life, with a second-generation 64-bit A8 chip that Apple says is 30 percent faster and has 60 percent faster graphics than previous generations -- perfect for users who like to use their tablets to stream TV shows and movies. The 4's 5,124mAh battery also racks up about 10 hours of tablet life.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Samsung's Galaxy Tab S2, unveiled in July, has a thinner, lighter design and new 4:3 aspect ratio display on its two available 8-inch or 9.7-inch versions. Samsung's tablet, which is $299.99 for the 8-inch model and $399.99 for the 9.7-inch model, contains exceptional external hardware with a 2,048 x 1,536 Super AMOLED display.

On the inside, the Galaxy Tab S2 contains an Exynos 7 octa-core 5433 SoC, with similar clock speeds to the previous generation of Galaxy Tab S, as well as 3GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of storage. It also contains a microSD card slot with the potential for up to 128GB of storage. The Galaxy Tab S2 runs on Android 5.0 and comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Office solutions.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 is the perfect gift for professionals who are looking for the portability of a tablet with the power of a laptop.

This device is pricey, at $899, but its high-end specs and performance-packed Intel sixth-generation Skylake processors are worth it. The 12.3-inch PixelSense display is a bit bigger than that of the Surface Pro 3, but the device is still fairly light at 1.69 pounds.

With a kickstand and separately-sold type cover, the Surface Pro 4 can be re-positioned into a fully functional laptop. The tablet runs on the Windows 10 operating system, has an 8-megapixel autofocus rear-facing camera, and contains up to nine hours of battery life.

Nvidia Shield Tablet K1

With a cheap price tag of just $199, the Nvidia Shield Tablet K1 is a good holiday pick for gamers.

The 8-inch tablet has a 4K ultra-HD ready video features and motion sensors, as well as front-facing stereo speakers. The Nvidia Shield K1 packs a Tegra K1 processor that has a 192-core Nvidia Kepler GPU and quad-core CPU that clocks 2.2GHz, meaning that the tablet is great for gaming performance and graphics.

The tablets also contains both front-facing and rear-facing speakers, as well as 2GB of RAM and a 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display.

HP Spectre x2

HP Inc.'s Spectre x2 is another hot 2-in-1 tablet, with a look similar to that of Microsoft's Surface Pro 4, but with a cheaper $799 price tag.

With a 12-inch display, this 2-in-1 weighs 1.85 pounds, contains a stainless steel kickstand and easily folds into the tablet, and comes with a high-performance keyboard. In tablet mode, the Spectre x2 contains 1920 x 1280 IPS display, making it great for movie watching, gaming and browsing.

The tablet packs a sixth-generation Intel Core M processor and Intel RealSense 3D camera features, four stereo speakers on the keyboard and the screen, up to 8GB of RAM, and the Windows 10 operating system.

Dell Venue 8 7000

Dell's Venue 8 7000 is one of the thinnest Android tablets on the market, with a 6mm frame. But this tablet also has a cheap $293 price tag.

The 8.4-inch tablet has a stunning OLED Infinity screen with 2,560 x 1,600 resolution, as well as an anodized aluminum exterior. It also touts a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera.

On the inside, the Venue 8 7000 contains an Intel Atom processor X3580 that clocks up to 2.3 GHz and runs on Android Lollipop 5.0.2. Dell's tablet also contains up to 9.5 hours of battery lift and Intel's RealSense depth features integrated into its cameras.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3

The Yoga Tab 3 is a great consumer tablet for techies who enjoy watching videos or playing music on their devices.

This tablet, which comes in an 8-inch or 10-inch screened option, contains HD display, a whopping 20 hours of battery life, and a rotating 8-megapixel camera, all under a cheap price tag: The 8-inch Yoga Tab 3 is available for $169 while the 10-inch version is available for $199. Its convertible frame allows the tablet to be easily repositioned.

Lenovo's Yoga Tab 3 runs on an Android operating system and is powered by a quad-core 1.3 GHz Qualcomm SoC.

Amazon Fire

The Amazon Fire is a good gift -- if you're on a budget -- due to its dirt-cheap price tag of $50.

The 7-inch tablet is not the latest and greatest technology, but for a techie friend who wants an inexpensive tablet to watch video, read, browse the web, and shop on Amazon, the device is the perfect entry-level tablet.

The Amazon Fire tablet contains a user-friendly Fire OS 5, a widescreen HD display backed by a plastic 7.5 x 4.5 x .4 inch frame, and a microSD slot to boost capacity. At its heart, the tablet is powered by a quad-core 1.3 GHz MediaTek processor, as well as only 1GB of RAM and 5GB of available internal storage, but these specs are expected with the cheap price tag.

Apple iPad Pro

Apple's newest 12.9-inch iPad Pro is another viable gift option for a techie who is also a diehard Apple fan.

This massive tablet works with new accessories like a separately sold keyboard and the Apple Pencil stylus, to function as a 2-in-1 device. The device also packs an improved A9X processor and contains up to 10 hours of battery life. The iPad Pro comes in three gorgeous metallic finishes: silver, gold and space gray.

The drawback to the iPad Pro is its high prices; the 32GB version of the device starts at $799 and that cost runs all the way up to $1,079 for the 128GB version.

Sony Xperia Z4

The Sony Xperia Z4 tablet is a 10.1-inch device with 2K display, and 2560 x 1600 resolution. The Android tablet is 6.1mm thin and weighs 389 grams.

On the inside, the Xperia Z4 tablet packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with integrated LTE and a 64-bit octa-core CPU, a 6,000 mAh battery enabling up to 17 hours of video playback, and runs on Android 5.0. The Xperia Z4 contains an 8.1-megapixel camera and front-facing 5.1-megapixel camera.

The tablet is also durable -- it has been certified with the highest waterproof and dust-tight rating in a mobile device, according to Sony.